Jordan Cohen, MD; Richard I. Levin, MD
Disclosures: Authors have disclosed no conflicts of interest. Forms can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOf InterestForms.do?msNum=L15-0519.
Cohen J, Levin RI. Shining a Light on the Dark Side. Ann Intern Med. 2016;164:69-70. doi: 10.7326/L16-0014
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2016;164(1):69-70.
TO THE EDITOR:
We applaud the editors of Annals for publishing the anonymous essay (1) and Laine and colleagues' accompanying editorial (2). No one likes to expose the dark side of their field, but as professionals, we have a solemn responsibility to acknowledge the darkness within medicine just as we celebrate its humanity.
Organized medicine has shown a high tolerance for the kinds of appalling behavior that were the subject of the essay. Unfortunately, these are not isolated incidents. Last month, when The Washington Post reported on the essay, it hit a responsive chord (3). The story garnered more than 290 comments, many from physicians and nurses with their own horror stories of medical disrespect. Reading through those comments, we question Laine and colleagues' inference that these behaviors in medicine are uncommon.
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